It’s understandable that the focus would be on Republican candidates in the midst of a GOP primary. But we shouldn’t forget that the general election -- like all incumbent elections -- will largely be a referendum on Barack Obama. And, under current conditions, Obama is every bit as unelectable as the Republicans supposedly are. Consider:Just take a look at the previous post on the projected unemployment rates for the next couple of years and you'll see why Obama has an uphill fight to hold his job.
1) Obama is still unpopular. Almost all models of presidential elections examine presidential approval ratings (very few use challenger favorability, incidentally), as presidents rarely win many votes of those who disapprove of their performance in office. In other words, Obama probably needs to be pretty close to 50 percent approval on Election Day to secure re-election. (In 2004, George W. Bush was at 49.7 percent in the RCP Average on Election Day.)
As of this writing, Obama’s job approval in the RCP Average is 46.8 percent. For the last month, his job approval in Gallup has bounced around between 42 percent and 46 percent, averaging 44.7 percent.
To put this in perspective, on Election Day 2010, his approval was 45.6 percent in the RCP Average and 44 percent in Gallup. In other words, his rating is roughly where it was when Democrats suffered their worst midterm drubbing since 1938....
2) The economy is still a millstone. As I noted above, there has been some good economic news lately. But the flip side of this is that we’ve heard it before: Late 2010 and early 2011 were filled with bullish reports on the economy, as was early 2010 (remember “Recovery Summer”?).
Read the rest of it at the link.